Best 90s anime list – movies & shows of all genres

Whether you’re a new anime fan or have been watching anime since the 90s, there are some anime from the 1990s which you should never miss out on because they’re too good. So here is our list of the best 90s anime which are unforgettable.

Each year new anime are made but many of them are inspired by the 1990s anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Yu Yu Hakusho. Watching anime from the 1990s would especially be enjoyable for you because then you’ll know the original storyline and animation which constructed much more anime in the future. However, there are still some wonderful anime from the 1990s which even in this era have nothing close to their storyline and animation.

If you’re from the 90s and have been watching anime since then, then you’ll enjoy going down memory lane. Maybe you’ll even find a childhood favorite anime in this list that would make you nostalgic and joyful. Don’t worry about being disappointed because we’ve made sure each 90s anime get the spotlight in this list which they may not have gotten before.

This list of best anime from the 1990s is one of the many anime-based articles on this website. If you enjoy reading about anime, you’ll love our article on anime industry statistics and facts. Have you been waiting for an anime next season’s release, but it still has not come out? Read about them on our website where there are articles on a variety of anime seasons including Darling in the Franxx Season 2, No Game No Life Season 2, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Season 2, Yuri on Ice Season 2, and many more.

1. Cowboy Bebop

Credit: Sunrise

Cowboy Bebop was released in 1998 and remains one of the best anime of all time. Although it’s a short anime of only 26 episodes, it still earned the hearts of viewers worldwide. It still hasn’t lost its popularity as it is also being currently streamed on Netflix and has inspired many anime of this generation.

The storyline is set in the year 2071, where due to certain circumstances, all humans have to emigrate to other moons and planets. The whole situation is chaos which has to be handled by the Inter Solar System Police. However, the police aren’t competent enough so they pay bounty hunters known as Cowboys to help them out. Spike Spiegel is the protagonist of the anime and he has a ship named Bebop on which he travels throughout space. He has a crew full of eccentric weirdos just like him but they make the anime so entertaining by adding humor to it. Cowboy Bebop also has an opening that is so good and classical.

2. One Piece

Credit: Toei Animation

This list would not be complete without the best of the best, One Piece. It is one of the big three anime, among Naruto and Bleach. The 90s ended with giving this world an irreplaceable anime, One Piece which was launched in 1999. It is produced by Toei Animation and is still ongoing. It has 1000+ episodes due to which it has been ranked as the 17th lengthiest anime series. The manga on which the anime is based is written by Eiichiro Oda. The One Piece manga has broken multiple records while the anime has also sold very well.

One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who dreams of becoming the Pirate King. However, Luffy soon realizes how difficult it is to become the Pirate King. Hence, he forms the Straw Hat Pirates which is the name of the crewmates he recruits. The anime then shows the adventures of Luffy and his crewmates as they travel through the world, engage in exciting battles, and spend time with each other.

3. Yu Yu Hakusho

Credit: Pierrot

Yu Yu Hakusho is another unforgettable anime from the 90s. It’s a Shounen class with lots of amazing battles. Especially the black tournament arc from the anime is one that beats any other tournament arcs. The animation is beyond good. It is fast-paced and makes the fights look 100% to their potential. Yu Yu Hakusho has inspired the creation of so many anime, but it still remains unbeatable and anime fans of the new generation still watch it because they cannot miss out on these spectacular fights.

It has 112 episodes and is produced by Studio Pierrot. Its storyline and animation have led to it even winning the Animage Anime Grand Prix thrice from 1993 to 1995.

The anime follows the story of a 14-year-old boy named Yuusuke Urameshi who dies because of saving a young boy. His concern for others over himself was recognized by the spirit realm’s authorities who decide to give him another life. However, he first has to complete different missions and become a spirit detective. Yu Yu Hakusho is an anime filled with comedy, fights, and lovable characters.

4. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Credit: Nippon Sunrise

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is a franchise of the Gundam series which became very popular and is loved and remembered by fans even to this date. The story is set in the 2200s where there is a war going on between the Earth and its orbital colonies from space. The leaders on earth oppress the space colonies because they have more military power. At the same time, the orbital colonies fight for their independence with the help of a leader. However, the leader gets assassinated.

Five years following the assassination, 5 pilots from space colonies arrive on earth wearing suits made by scientists known as Gundams. Their motive is to defeat a shadowy organization in order to bring peace to their homeland.

This anime became so popular that it was even aired on American TV. It has many adaptations in terms of video games, manga, and light novels.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Credit: Gainax / Tatsunoko

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a literal gold anime. Many mecha anime have been made after this inspired by it but none of them have been as good as this one. The anime has a great storyline and the characters are unique. They represent the difficulties with alienation and depression which the director Hideaki Anno faced during his life. So, the characters are relatable to many people facing similar issues

The anime’s main character is Shinji who gets recruited by his father in an organization named NERV. The purpose of the organization and the boy’s job is to pilot a robot named Evangelion to fight against monsters named “Angels”. While Shinji’s mission is to save humanity by risking his own life, he also struggles with the psychological issues which he faces within himself.

6. Slam Dunk

Credit: Toei Animation

Finally, a 90s sports anime is on the list. Slam Dunk is an anime that has maintained its name as one of the best sports anime ever, even to this date. It has so many fans worldwide that it’s even available on Netflix and Prime Video. Its specialty is that it’s addicting to even those viewers who are not a fan of sports.

Slam Dunk was launched in 1993 and has a total of 101 episodes. It follows the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi who loves this girl and he joins the basketball team so he could impress her. Although he does not like basketball at all. However, when Hanamichi starts playing basketball, he realized how good he is at it. Moreover, he learns that there is so much more about Basketball that he did not even know. Soon, h falls in love with the spot and becomes passionate about it. Winning the game becomes everything to him. As the anime progresses, Hanamachi develops as a player and a person. Slam Dunk is an anime enjoyable for people of all ages.

7. Berserk

Credit: GEMBA / Millepensee

Although remakes of Berserk have been made, the 1997 version of this anime still remains the best. The anime has a great soundtrack, animation, setting, storyline, and characters which makes it absolutely perfect. However, the only drawback of this anime is that it only covers the Black Swordsman arc and not the amazing Golden Age arc. This is why the anime is only 25 episodes but these episodes are still great and worth each minute.

The anime follows the story of a swordsman named Guts who’s a mercenary warrior. He calls himself “The Black Swordsman” referring to the days when he used to be a member of the Band of the Hawk which is a group of mercenaries.

8. Great Teacher Onizuka

Credit: Pierrot

Finally, a comedy anime to the list. The 1999 anime Great Teacher Onizuka is an anime that would keep you laughing and entertained all day. It’s produced by the famous Studio Pierrot and has a total of 43 episodes.

The anime follows the story of the 22-year-old, Eikichi Onizuka who used to be a gangster before his life goals changed as he wanted to become a teacher so he can be liked by young high school girls. He gets a teaching degree from an average college and then lands a teaching job.

However, instead of dating a high school girl, Onizuka actually finds something much more important which is his conscience and morality. He realizes he loves teaching and wants to become the best teacher ever. The anime has hilarious moments of Onizuka bringing pervy and struggling, but it shows Onizuka progress from being a punk to a completely different person who’s devoted to his career.

9. Dragon Ball Z

Credit: Toei Animation

Forget about the 90s list, no best anime list ever can be complete without Dragon Ball Z. Words simply cannot describe how amazing this anime is and it is so popular worldwide that no anime other anime can beat it in terms of popularity. So many people have watched Dragon Ball Z growing up and although they are not anime fans, they still loved Dragon Ball Z.

The anime follows the story of Goku, whose living a peaceful life with his wife and son. However, after five years of winning the World Martial Arts Tournament, a dangerous enemy named Raditz comes meets Goku and tells him that he’s his lost long brother and Goku is from the extinct Saiyaan race. He reminds Goku that he was sent to the earth as a baby to conquer the earth and destroy it but a head injury caused him to lose his violent nature and become kind and helpful.

Raditz is unable to forcibly take back Goku so he warns him of a strong enemy which is approaching the earth and has the power to completely destroy it. There is a war among all to find the seven dragon balls and anyone whose weak will be killed. Dragon Ball Z has lots of comedy, martial arts, and fights which are great. Not to mention the soundtracks are also amazing.

10. Rurouni Kenshin

Credit: Studio Gallop / Studio Deen

Rurouni Kenshin is a samurai anime and it remains one of the best ones in this genre. Similar to other anime on this list, Rurouni Kenshin has also inspired the creation of many Samurai anime afterward. One of the main reasons why this anime is still so well regarded is that the start of this anime is very good and engaging. Moreover, the plot remains very interesting throughout the anime. The pace is perfect, not too slow or fast.

However, the main criticism which Rurouni Kenshin received is that due to the popularity of the anime, the creators kept the anime’s story ongoing although it had ended in the manga. There are different reviews from the fans about the filler episodes but only having filler episodes in the anime did affect the rating of the anime. Hence, the “half good half bad” phrase gets attached to the anime when people talk about it. 

The series had aired from 1996 to 1998 and the manga on which the anime is based is written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The anime revolves around Himura Kenshin, a great swordsman. Hearing his name is enough to make his opponents shiver from fear. However, Himaru decides to let go of his messed-up past and start a different life, and so he starts to travel around in Japan. Himura’s life motive becomes helping people whenever he can so he can atone for the murders he has committed. On his journey, he meets a woman struggling to save the reputation of her martial arts school. Himura helps her out and in return, she asks him to live at her dojo. Himura begins living at her dojo and as the series progresses, it shows Himura having to fight his rivals from the past, but continuing to help others out and the woman.

11. Sailor Moon

Credit: Toei Animation

Sailor Moon is an anime that became extremely popular not only in Japan but also in the west. It aired from 1992 to 1997 and even after all these years, its popularity hasn’t fallen at all. It still has so many merchandise sales ongoing and no matter where in the world there’s a comic con, there are always Sailor Moon cosplays over there.

For many people, Sailor Moon was their first-ever anime. In most of the anime with superpowers, a protagonist is a man, but in Sailor Moon, all main characters are girls. The anime follows the story of a high school girl named Usagi Tsukino. She has a normal life which turns upside down when she meets a cat named Luna. Luna is a magical cat that tells Usagi that it is in her fate to become the planetary guardian of the earth, the Sailor Moon. She’s not convinced about it at first but when she realized that the threat from an enemy is increasing, she must fight to protect what she has to. Sailor Moon is an anime that emphasizes on friendships, trust, and working together.

12. Pokemon

Credit: OLM, Inc.

Pokemon is one of the most popular anime series worldwide and has a remarkably huge fanbase. Pokemon has been streamed on the top streaming platforms including Cartoon Network, Disney, and even Netflix. The best part about Pokemon is that it can be watched by people of all ages so whether they’re an adult or a child, everyone loves Pokemon.

The anime sold extremely well and it was even adapted into various video games, all of which have been extremely successful. It also got a live-action film, merchandise, and even a theme park. There is hardly anyone from the 90s or even this generation who hasn’t heard about Pokemon.

Pokemon follows the story of Ash who dreams of becoming a Pokemon Master. He takes the help of his friends and his all-time famous Pokemon, Pikachu. The anime follows the adventures of Ash and his friends as they go on adventures around the world in search of new Pokemons. However, they face threats from the enemy and also Team Rocket with which they fight against with all their might.

Pokemon is filled with lots of adorable characters, especially Pikachu which is an extremely popular character in the series. One thing which would never get out of your mind after watching Pokemon is “Pokemon gotta catch ’em all”.

13. Trigun

Credit: Madhouse

Trigun is another amazing 90s anime created by the famous studio Madhouse. Although the anime is of only 26 episodes, it still gained a lot of popularity and became a huge hit. Trigun became very famous abroad, mainly in the USA after it aired on Toonami. The anime also received a lot of positive reviews from critics

Trigun was launched on April 1, 1998, and it aired till September 30, 1998. The plot is set in Gunsmoke, a desert world. Here, two insurance agents, Milly Thompson and Meryl Stryfe are given the mission to find Vash the Stampede. He is a villain with a double dollar 60 billion bounty on him because he destroyed the city of July. Bounty hunters keep trying to catch Vash the Stampede and in the process they cause chaos. However, Vash doesn’t remember anything from the incident at all because he had gotten retrograde amnesia. In fact, he travels around helping others

This anime will give you a variety of genres in one place. Sci-fi, comedy, action, everything. This is what makes Trigun so special.

14. Ghost in the Shell

Credit: Production I.G

Ghost in the Shell is a thriller film based on a same-named manga by Masamune Shirow. The movie is so good that it has been opinionated by officials that it is one of the best anime and science-fiction movies. This animated movie is different from the rest because it isn’t all happy and rainbows. It shows philosophical truths about finding your identity in a time where technology is everything.

 The plot is set in the year 2029, where technology has advanced a lot, and having cyborgs is a common thing. The anime’s protagonist is Major Motoko Kusanagi, a woman who’s the officer of a special operations division in the police. Her motive is to find a hacker called “Puppet Master” who has the ability to hack the minds of cyborgs so he can access all their information and misuse it.

Ghost in the Shell has inspired the creation of many movies afterward, including the animated American series, Avatar. Ghost in the Shell was a movie not relatable to people of that time, but now if they watch it, they can understand it better in this era. Oh, and it also shows the risks involved in using your robots at work. Better be careful because 2029 is only a few years away.

15. Yu-Gi-Oh!

Credit: Toei Animation

In a time where most Shounen anime were fighting with superpowers, Yu-Gi-Oh became a gamechanger by introducing battle gaming with cards. The anime was such a huge hit that it became among the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. Yu-Gi-Oh is an anime series with a huge fanbase worldwide. It is one of those 90s anime that still hasn’t grown old in terms of its popularity.

Yu-Gi-Oh aired from April 4, 1998 – to October 10, 1998, and it has a total of 27 episodes. It is produced by Toei Animation and written by Kazuki Takahashi. The anime follows the story of Yugi Mutou a young boy who’s bullied at school. The only way he passes his time happily is by playing a lot of games at his grandfather’s game shop.  There he finds an ancient game called “Millennium Puzzle”. While playing it, Yugi unleashes a strange spirit called ‘King of Games’ which makes Yugi’s body his host. Yugi then has an alternate personality called “Yami Yuugi” which takes over whenever Yugi has a problem.

Whenever someone tries to bully Yugi, the spirit forces them into a “Shadow Game” where the opponent’s darkness of the heart is seen and they are punished by having to play a “Penalty Game.” As the anime progresses, Yugi and his friends find out the secrets behind the spirit and they try to find ways to help him out.

Yu-Gi-Oh is an anime series with a not-so-cliché storyline and that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s a must-watch 90s anime because you won’t find anything like it in recent years.

16. Initial D

Credit: Gallop / Studio Comet

VrOOooom it’s finally time for the 90s famous car racing series. Initial D is anime series that remains one of the best sports anime series ever. For anyone who loves cars or sports, Initial D will have a whole different place in their hearts. It is an anime that has a “90s” feel to it while also displaying the Japanese culture along with it. Initial D has everything from action, story, to a soundtrack that is unforgettable. One can simply not say enough about this anime.

What makes Initial D so realistic? Well, Keiichi Tsuchiya was a consultant for this series. He is a stuntman for Fast & Furious, and also a professional street racer. Yes, the creators did really go out of their way for this anime and that’s what makes it so special.

The storyline is set in the late 1990s in Japan’s Gunma Prefecture. The anime revolves around Takumi Fujiwara, an average eighteen-year-old who has no particular interest in cars. His father owns a tofu shop and Takumi makes tofu deliveries daily to the mountain of Akira by driving. He thinks of driving as a part of his daily work routine only.

On one day, a popular team of car racers called the Akagi Red Suns visit Akina town for challenging the local mountain pass so they can earn the title of the fastest car racing team in the area. However, they get surprised when an old Toyota AE86 overtakes one of their aces. Afterward, the Takahashi brothers become aware of an unknown driver with an old car but great talent on the roads. From that day onwards, Takumi’s normal life changes as people begin to notice his talent. The anime shows the adventures of Takumi with driving scenes that would keep your heartbeat high.

17. Outlaw Star

Credit: Sunrise

Outlaw Star is an adventure and space opera anime that started airing in 1998. Anyone who’s a fan of space genre anime has probably watched or at least heard about Outlaw Star. A 90s anime list couldn’t have been complete with the mention of Outlaw Star, a legendary space anime that still have fans who chant its name when their favorites from the 90s anime are asked.

The anime’s protagonist is a boy named Gene Starwind who dreams of piloting his own ship. However, his dream is not so easy to achieve so he and his friend mostly work odd jobs at planet Sentinel III. Fortunately, things take a turn for them when they start doing a job for a treasure-hunting outlaw called Rachel Sweet. Gene and his friend have the mission of protecting a girl called Melfina. Both of them are sent to protect her at the Outlaw Star, an advanced ship. The anime follows the adventures of Gene and the ship’s crew as they try to find out the mystery about Melfina, while also fighting enemies which include mages, bounty hunters, pirates, and much more.

Outlaw Star has mostly received very positive reviews from fans and critiques. The anime is mainly appreciated for its great animation style, storyline, and comedy. Although a few viewers suggested the anime’s storyline begins to get a bit boring after some episodes.

18. Princess Mononoke

Credit: Studio Ghibli

The first animated movie to make it so the list is the 1997 film Princess Mononoke from the famous Studio Ghibli. This movie is a literal art piece that has been appreciated by many critics and is extremely famous worldwide for its interesting storyline, animation, and beautiful music. The movie is also available on Netflix and Prime Video which means the popularity and demand for the movie still haven’t reduced.

The film starts with a prince called prince Ashitaka who kills a wild boar who was a threat to his village. However, killing the wild boar leaves Ashitaka with a deadly curse on his arm which would spread soon. Ashitaka’s last hope is to travel to a village that expects could cure his curse. On his way, Ashitaka reaches a place called Iron Town. After arriving, he finds out the town faces a threat from who they call “wolf girl” and the forest spirits. However, Ashikata soon begins to understand this conflict better after he explores the forest himself. Hence, Ashikata decides to resolve this issue between the forest and the iron town so lives could be saved on both sides.

The anime is written by Hayao Miyazaki and the protagonist princess Mononoke is nothing like the traditional Disney princesses of the 90s. Princess Mononoke shows a strong female protagonist who’s willing to do everything to protect the ones she loves. She’s a badass character who knows how to use her fists.

19. Hunter x Hunter

Credit: Nippon Animation / Madhouse

True anime fans, especially ones who love Shonen probably count this anime as one of their favorites. The 1999 version of Hunter x Hunter is a Shonen class that definitely deserves a spot on this list. It’s produced by one of the top animation houses in Japan, Studio Madhouse.  It is an anime famous worldwide and is highly appreciated by critics for its animation, outstanding storyline, well-built characters, and fights which are literally mouth opening.

In this anime, there is a concept of “Hunters” that are people experts in different fields. Each hunter receives a heavy amount of funding, but to become a Hunter, they need to get Hunter’s license which requires an exam. The Hunters exam varies each year and has a very low success rate.

The anime revolves around Gon, a 12-year-old who goes to take the exam so he can find his father whom he has never met. On his way, Gon meets three characters, Killua Zoldyck, Kurapika, and Leorio Paladiknight, each of whom has different reasons for wanting to become hunters.

As the anime progresses, the four characters develop strong friendships with each other. Especially Gon and Killua who stick together until the end of the anime and learn new powers and beat enemies much stronger than them. Hunter x Hunter is an anime that is so good you can’t stop yourself from binge-watching it.

20. Serial Experiments Lain

Credit: Triangle Staff

Although this anime is from 1998, it’s an anime that seems to be ahead of time. Although computers were still developing in 1998 and there was no wifi, Serial Experiments Lain already predicted and portrayed how this technology will affect society. It’s a short psychological animated series of 13 episodes that focuses on topics such as communication and identity.

The anime follows the story of a young girl, Lain Iwakura whose life completely changes when she receives an email from a friend who had committed suicide, Chisa Yomoda.

Lain is an introvert who’s not really interested in technology. However, Lain gets dragged to the world of computer technology after she reads the email. The email had said that Chisa isn’t dead but she has left her physical self and is residing in the virtual realm. As the anime progresses, Lain begins realizing things she couldn’t have ever imagined. The reason why this anime is so significant is that it how technology has affected everyone in this time period. It is an anime we can relate to even twenty-two years after it ended.

21. My Neighbour Totoro

Credit: Studio Ghibli

Another Ghibli movie on the list because Ghibli movies are well.. amazing. My Neighbour Totoro is an animated film that can literally never get old. It has a simple movie but one which can be enjoyed by people of all ages. This movie broke so many records in Japan, won a huge amount of awards, and became extremely famous worldwide. The 1998 film is even on Netflix because people loved watching it multiple times.

My Neighbour Totoro follows the story of two young girls, Satsuke and her little sister Mei who shift to a new village with their father, waiting for their mother to get better in the nearby hospital. The anime follows the two finding friendly and fun spirits in their town and exploring new places. The eye-candy of this show is the huge, cuddly, and extremely adorable character, Totoro and Nekobasu which is a cat that jumps and takes Totoro and other spirits to their destinations.

My Neighbour Totoru is a feel-good movie that is famous for its exceptionally beautiful art style, adorable characters, and soundtrack which is heartwarming. This movie still remains so famous that its merchandise made sales worth more than a billion dollars in 2019.

22. Cardcaptor Sakura

Credit: Madhouse

Here’s another magical girl anime on the list. It is all pink, adorable, romantic, and magical, the classical anime Cardcaptor Sakura. The animation of this anime is extremely good although it is from the 90s, but that wouldn’t be a surprise because its animation studio is Studio Madhouse. The anime is highly famous in Japan and the west as well, which it why it is streaming on American Netflix too.

Cardcaptor Sakura has 70 episodes that aired from 1998 to 2000. The best part about this anime is that children and adults both can enjoy it. The anime revolves around an elementary student, Sakura Kinomoto. Sakura’s life completely changes when she accidentally frees a set of magical cards in the world. She then realizes has to retrieve all the cards or else massive destruction will take place.

23. Detective Conan

Credit: TMS Entertainment

Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed is a hit series from 1996. The series has been so profitable for the creators because of its popularity that the original series is still ongoing. It has more than 1033 episodes released already, apart from other side stories and movies.

Detective Conan follows the story of Shinichi Kudou, an exceptionally smart high school students who often works with the police and is able to solve very challenging cases which almost seems impossible. However, things take an interesting turn when he is forcefully taken by the Black Organization through an ambush during an investigation. They forcefully feed him a hazardous experimental drug to kill him. Luckily, the drug doesn’t kill him, but it physically makes him a kid.

He then goes into hiding and keeps himself hidden from his best friend. However, his family friend suggests him to change his identity so he becomes Conan Edogawa. He starts living with his best friend and her father who’s also a detective and he secretly helps solve the cases from behind the screen. At the same time, he tries to investigate more about the black organization and also hopes to turn back to his true physical self one day.

24. Digimon

Credit: Toei Animation

If you loved Pokemon, then you’ll definitely love Digimon. Its concept is very similar to Pokemon but the anime itself is good as well anyways. One more different factor about Digimon is that it covered some important topics including divorce and death as well. So, which means Digimon can be an anime for both children and adults. Being an adult doesn’t mean you can’t watch colorful and cute animated characters, right?

Digimon Adventures is an Isekai anime in which seven teenagers are suddenly sent to a strange new Digital World. Each one of them is given a Digimon which is a strong monster with superpowers. The whole group then finds out they have to fight against the evil force with the help of their Digimons and save the world.  

The short for the word Digimon is “Digital Monsters”. The anime was produced by Toei Animation and it aired from March 7, 1999, to March 26, 2000. The series has a total of 54 episodes. The anime still remains one of the fans’ favorites. Digimon is not only famous in Japan but it is also very popular in the US where the anime is watched by many people on Netflix and its merchandise is sold a lot too.

25. Kiki’s Delivery Service

Credit: Studio Ghibli

Yes, a third 90s movie from Ghibli Studio but we can’t help it, Ghibli movies are just too good, especially the ones mentioned in this list. Like every Ghibli movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service is also a feel-good movie with animation, storyline, and soundtrack all so beautiful that they make Kiki’s Delivery Service a masterpiece. Oh, and there is a witch in this anime. Not the typical ones with long hair and a scary face, but one so adorable you’d wish you were a witch too.

Kiki’s Delivery Service follows the story of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki who travels leaves her hometown and leaves on a journey to find a new village to live in. This is a tradition of trainee witches. Kiki travels with her black cat Jiji and lands in a peaceful village near the sea called Koriko.

Kiki is given shelter by a kind lady who owns a bakery. Kiki helps her around in the bakery and starts working by providing people delivery services on her broomstick. Soon, she begins getting used to the new environment. She also makes a special friend named Tombo and starts spending time with him.

However, as a young adult, she sees girls her age dressing up and behaving differently which causes her to start feeling insecure. Due to her self doubts, she starts losing her powers and is unable to fly. But one day she finds Tombo in trouble so she forgets about her insecurities and goes to save him. With a lot of persistence and tries, Kiki is able to finally gain her powers back and then she flies and saves him. Isn’t it amazing how well the female protagonists are in Ghibli anime?

26. City Hunter

Credit: Sunrise

City Hunter is an animated series that aired from April 6, 1987 – March 28, 1988. Tsukasa Hojo has written and illustrated the manga on which the anime is based. City Hunter gained a lot of popularity in Japan and Europe as well, which is why it also got second, third, and fourth seasons afterward. The anime falls in the genre of detective comedy and Action. Moreover, the main characters are ones which viewers fall absolutely in love with. The female protagonist, Kaori Makimura was even ranked eighth in the category of Best Female Character in the Animage Anime Grand Prix.

The anime revolves around Ryo Saeba, who’s a “sweeper” because he cleans the city from bad people and crime. He is a private detective who works along with the help of his partner Hideyuki Makimura. He is hired by people to solve life-threatening issues.

However, Hideyuki gets murdered and her tomboy sister, Kaori becomes his new partner. Kaori is possessive about Ryo and she gets jealous every time Hideyuki tries to do anything perverted with her girl. As the anime progresses, Kaori and Ryo develop a good bond with each other, and on and off romance can be seen happening between. Their chemistry is best shown when they are able to best support each other during missions.

27. You’re Under Arrest

Credit: Studio Deen

You’re Under Arrest is an anime similar to the famous ones nowadays, but instead of having male protagonists, it has two female lead characters which on the first place is what makes this anime so great. There are only a few anime with a police theme so it is a good choice to watch it because maybe you’ll end up loving animated police characters.

The anime is about two main characters in the anime, Natsumi who’s the tough girl as she can fight, and Miyuki who’s the brain in their duo. Miyuki mostly does the thinking to solve the crime while Natsumi makes use of her fists to beat down the enemy whenever needed. All the characters in this anime work in the Tokyo Police Force. So, in this anime, there is mostly a lot of comedy going on between the main and the supporting characters which makes the anime fun to watch.

If you’re looking for an anime with action and comedy, then You’re Under Arrest would be the one to keep you entertained. Although more than two decades have passed since its release, fans still regard it as a remarkable anime from the 90s.

28. Castle in the Sky

Credit: Studio Ghibli

Castle in the Sky is another great movie from the Ghibli Studio which was released just one year after the studio’s establishment. Castle in the Sky is another movie with a lovely soundtrack, interesting storyline, and remarkable animation. I mean, how does Ghibli do such good animation back in the 90s anyway?

The anime follows the story of a young girl named Sheeta who is kidnapped by Col. Muska. He is taking her to the military prison in a plane when they are suddenly attacked by air pirates commanded by matronly Dola. While the chaos is going on, Sheeta escapes from the plane using her magic crystal. Sheeta lands in town where she meets a teenager named Pazu. They both decide to find out about Laputa, a mysterious floating city which very few know about and almost none have seen. They both work together while having the military and the pirates run after them to get the mystical crystal that Sheeta owns.

Castle in the Sky became a very popular film in Japan and abroad. It earned a box office of 15.5 million USD and won the Anime Grand Prix award of Animage. The movie put a major influence on Japanese Culture and many games, and movies have been made afterward from its inspiration. Its popularity among this generation earned it a place on Netflix for streaming as well.

29. His and Her Circumstances

Credit: Gainax / J.C.Staff

Finally, a pure rom-com in the list. His and Her Circumstances, also known as Kare Kano in Japanese is an anime series that aired from October 2, 1998 – March 23, 1999, and has a total of 26 episodes. This anime still remains one of the best romantic anime ever because of its simple yet engaging storyline.

The anime follows the love story of Yukino Miyazawa and Soichiro Arima. Yukino Miyazawa is the female representative of her class. She is the gem in her high school because she is good in sports, academics both. Moreover, she is very social and has been admired by everyone inside and outside of her school because of her elegance. There is almost no one in school who can beat her in academics, apart from Soichiro Arima the male representative in her class. He is the only person who is better than her because he is also social, popular, good in sports and he performs better in academics than her. She has considered him her rival since day 1 but she is unable to push him down.

Finally, Yukino is able to reach her goal when she gets more marks than Soichiro in the midterm exams. She is delighted but starts feeling strange when Soichiro actually comes and congratulates her on her grades. Surprisingly, Soichiro confesses his love to Yukino which she instantly rejects but when she comes back home she starts feeling a bit regretful about it. Things turn upside down for Yukino when Soichiro comes to her home the next day and brings a CD which shows Yukino being her true self. She has always hidden her real personality from everyone but now it was caught on the CD. Soichiro blackmails Yukino into making her the student council work. Yukino is forced into spending time with Soichiro until one day she revolts against him. Soichiro apologizes and agrees he wanted to spend more time with her that is why he was doing this. Yukino also realizes that she has feelings for Soichiro.

As the series progresses, Soichiro and Yukino get closer to each other because they both understand each other better than anyone else as they understand how hard it is to be fake in front of everyone and always pretend to be perfect.

His and Her circumstances in a series that would make you laugh and get emotional at the same time. It also teaches the viewers to accept who they are and that we do not have to be perfect. It also tells that sometimes you cannot predict the way others feel and everyone has struggles of their own.

30. Slayers

Credit: E&G Films

Slayers is a comedy and adventure anime released in 1995. In this anime, you’ll get to see lots of wizards, demons, magic, and swordsmanship. What makes this anime so fun is that these characters do the most foolish things together light getting drunk and fighting.

The anime revolves around Lina Inverse, a young sorceress, and her friends who travel through the world. They use their skills and powers to fight against demons, a gang of bandits and wizards which have the aim of destroying the world. Although their quest sounds serious, they make sure to have fun during it as well.

The animation isn’t the very best but there are fighting scenes where we can see the animators put in some extra hard work. Although it cannot be considered the best 90s fantasy anime, it is still a good one to watch for entertainment if you’re bored.

We really hope you enjoyed reading out the list of best anime from the 1990s. If you are interested in reading similar articles, then check out our list of best shounen anime and best cats in anime.